One of the most memorable scenes from the Road movies starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. “You’re Telling Me” from Road to Rio (1947)
Happy Birthday to the great Bob Hope, one of the most iconic entertainers that the world has ever known. He was known in radio, as a host at the Oscars, in USO tours, on television, in movies, and even as a golfer. He starred in the popular Road Series with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour and he had numerous memorable guest appearances. Two of my favorite roles have to be his performances in The Road to Morocco (1942) and Son of Paleface (1952). Thanks for the memories Bob!
Marion Morrison, better known as John
This Pixar film, starring Ed Asner and Jordan Nagai, follows a retired gentleman, who keep his promise to his deceased wife by traveling to South America. Carl Frederickson met the love of his life in Ellie, and they got married. However, pretty soon they were in their later years and Ellie died. Carl wants to keep his promise, and so he heads to South American in his balloon-propelled house. Along the way, he has an energetic boy named Russell thrust upon him. Over time they become friends as Russell tries to help Carl so he can earn a Wilderness explorer badge. Russell befriends a talking dog named Dug and a giant bird called Kevin, while Mr. Frederisckson accepts their company begrudgingly. But they do run into trouble, and so they have to rally in order to save Kevin from his captors. Although this story seems sad at first, it quickly becomes heartwarming with the addition of Russell. He helps to breathe new life into Mr. Frederickson, and more importantly they form a relational bond. This is probably the best Pixar film since Finding Nemo.
It always strikes me how wonderfully unassuming this film is. If you told me that a film about an old man traveling to South America in a balloon-propelled house would be this gripping, funny, and heartwarming, I certainly would not believe you. But time after time UP is a joy to watch.
It has one of the moving opening sequences in recent memory, and it does it with pithiness. This is the first sign that this is something special. Each and every time I always find the score so whimsical, and it seems to fit so perfectly with the concept. Another marvel of this film is Russell, the spunky Asian-American kid in pursuit of his assisting the elderly badge. He is a hilarious little boy with a lot to say, and he says it with such expression and energy, which really shows through the Pixar animation. A shout-out must also be given to Kevin and Dug because Russell is the standout, but the film would not be the same without this pair of quirky creatures.
Most importantly, the younger generation learns from the older generation, and in turn, I think Carl learns valuable lessons from his young companion. It is very important to never forget our past, but perhaps more important is making something of our future and living in the present. It is a new type of buddy film that reminds us that friendship, as well as adventure, are out there, we just need to go and find it.
Directed by Akira Kurosawa and starring Toshiro Mifune, the film opens with a wealthy shoe company executive as he tries to struggle for control of the company. He makes a big gamble, waging everything he has to try and succeed. However, things take a bad turn when he believes his son has been kidnapped and the culprit wants an enormous payoff. It turns out that the son of Mr. Gondo’s chauffeur was taken but that makes no difference to the kidnapper. Mr. Gondo finally resolves to make the payoff and then the police who have been advising him take it from there. They work diligently to gather all the evidence they can and the net slowly begins to close The police finally find the culprit, catch him in the act, and recover most of the money. However, in a meeting with Mr. Gondo the man who is about to die wants no pity at all. Despite the relatively long length of this film, it held my interest. All I had seen of Kurosawa before this were samurai films and so this gave me a different look at his work.
In this film starring Joseph Cotten, Valli, and Orson Welles, an American western writer (Cotten) travels to post-war Vienna to meet a friend. Upon arriving he learns that his buddy has been killed in an accident. Not quite satisfied, he does some of his own investigating and along the way meets his friend’s beautiful lover (Valli). Together they try to cope and make sense of the loose ends. However, neither of them expected the shocking evidence which was to come. Who is the Third Man and where is he? Made in the film-noir fashion, The Third Man utilizes lighting and contrasting black and white cinematography effectively. The actual on location shooting in post-war Vienna helps add to the gritty realism. Although simple, the score comprised solely of zither music is no less powerful.
This movie will have you engrossed in the mysterious occurrences since The Third Man simply has some good twists. Whether Holly Martins is whisked away in a car, Harry Lime makes a dramatic entrance or Lime runs away into the sewer system, many of the moments are full of intrigue. I also think this is one of Orson Welles finest performances, because although his screen time is minimal, he has such a tremendous impact on the film. He portrays a very mysterious character in Harry Lime who certainly has his complexities. The ironic and abrupt ending seems to close the film just as it began. However, so much happens in the course of events. The film is even realistic in the language and dialogue, showing the differences between people. Because when it all comes down to it this film may revolve around one man, but it is really about the varying relationships between people.